As one-half of the NEW Glasers and as a marketing guru for GlassesUSA.com – I can tell you that shopping online usually boasts better deals than shopping at retail stores… but I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m a newlywed. When my husband and I got hitched, we combined not only our lives but our budgets as well. The entire time we dated, my husband, Craig, and I had two different budgets: mine and his – which doesn’t really work when you get married.
Craig works for an awesome company and makes an OK salary – I work for a company that sells eyeglasses online and I’m the bread winner. Saving isn’t so much of a problem for us – spending is. We like to spend money … just not all of it. Like any newlywed, we’re trying to build our home up and make it look less dorm-room chic and more “adult”. Here are a few ways we save:
- Hide Your Credit Cards: you might think I’m nuts but it actually helps. We “hid” our credit cards and only take them out for emergencies or big expenditures. Not only did we hide our cards, but I have pictures of stuff I want taped around my cards to make me think before I take the card. The temptation is always there but those pictures of things I want (like a trip to Paris) are good reminders for me.
- Go Grocery Shopping ONCE a Month: I don’t mean only go to the grocery store once a month, stay with me, there’s logic here! At the start of the month, make a list of all the non-perishables you need for the month (flour, sugar…etc.) and anything you can freeze – like meat/fish/shredded cheese. Look for coupons in advance and make a list. Only buy what’s on that list. The weeks after your big shopping spree- buy your weekly items like milk, cheese, and any item that perishes quickly. Here’s the logic: If you buy your non-perishables early on in the month and start cooking ahead of time, you won’t need to buy that many perishable items. You’ll be able to mix and match meals a lot more easily.
- Plan a Weekly Date Night: Seriously. It helps. It not only helps your relationship, it helps your pocketbook because you PLAN. Planning ahead will make the date less expensive. Doing it once a week means you’re only eating out once a week and you can budget what you want to spend. Remember to take coupons with you. Restaurants are hurting for business – take advantage of it.
I can be a bit of a princess when it comes to spending my money – I’m picky about what I spend my earnings on. I’m a big fan of spending time at home – I’m a bit of a hermit at times, so we also invite our friends over for pot-luck game night or marathon movie days. It’s very low-cost and we ask friends to bring food items. It’s also great when you have kids because your kids can socialize while you socialize.
Here’s my last bit of advice: challenge yourself. My husband and I completed our first No Spend Month in February. We challenged ourselves to spend no more than $300 for the entire month and we succeeded!
I’m interested in hearing what YOU do to save money. Are you planning to challenge yourself? Let’s hear it!